Minnesota Wild at Vegas Golden Knights

 

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Minnesota is one of the NHL’s hottest teams. The Wild have won six straight and moved into second place in the West division at 12-6-0 with 24 points. The Wild are tied with the St. Louis Blues and one point behind first-place Vegas. With a victory on Monday over Vegas, Minnesota could move into first place. Minnesota is getting excellent play between the pipes as the Wild have allowed a total of 10 goals during their six-game winning streak, and are now allowing an average of 2.44 goals per game on the season.

Vegas has won two straight sandwiched around two games being postponed. The Golden Knights lead the West division at 12-4-1 and 25 points but are being pressured by both St Louis and Minnesota, while Colorado is only two points back with 23. Vegas as one of the best goaltending units in the NHL and is allowing an average of only 2.06 goals-per-game, led by veteran netminder Marc-Andre Fleury

Wild Defense Improving each time out

During its current six-game winning streak, the Minnesota defense is allowing an average of only 1.67 goals per game and on the season only 2.44 goals per game. In net, Kaapo Kahkonen is 8-4-0 with a 2.41 goals-against average and .915 save percentage. Backup Cam Talbot is 4-2-0 and .926 save percentage. The penalty kill unit for Minnesota has been successful 84.8% of the time when short handed.

Minnesota is also seeing excellent results and in the attack zone as the Wild are scoring an average of 3.17 goals per game led by Joel Eriksson Ek with a team-high eight goals, while Kevin Fiala has scored 6 goals. Jordan Greenway is the leader in assists for Minnesota with 12 and Kirill Kaprizov is the overall points leader with 17 followed by Greenway with 14. The only obvious weakness for Minnesota thus far this season has been the power play as Minnesota has scored just five power-play goals and has been successful only 7.9% of the time with the man advantage.

Injury Report: Marcus Johansson is questionable for Monday, while Alex Stalock is out indefinitely and Marco Rossi is out for the season.

Goaltending is Key to Vegas Success

Vegas has the best goaltending tandem, when healthy, in all of the NHL and as a team the Golden Knights are allowing an average of 2.06 goals per game. Marc-Andre Fleury is 9-3-0 with a 1.59 goals-against average and .941 save percentage. In 12 appearances between the pipes, Fleury has posted three shutouts. Backup Robin Lehner (out injured) is 3-1-1 with a 2.96 goals-against average and .889 save percentage. The penalty kill unit for Vegas has successfully killed off 87.5% of opponents’ power plays.

In the attack zone, the Golden Knights are scoring an average of 3.00 goals per game. Vegas is led by Max Pacioretty with a team-high eight goals while Alex Tuch has scored seven and Jonathan Marchessault has scored six. Mark Stone is the assist leader with 13 and is also leading Vegas in overall points with 17. Vegas has scored only 10 power-play goals and the power play unit has scored just 18.2% of the time with the man advantage.

Injury Report: Robin Lehner, Brayden McNabb and Jiri Patera are all out indefinitely for Vegas

The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet
Rating:

Vegas goalie Marc-Andre Fleury is playing exceptionally well between the pipes allowing an average of only 1.59 goals-per-game and has already posted three shutouts this season. Vegas plays very well on its home ice as the Golden Knights have won 23 of the last 31 when playing at home in Sin City. Vegas has won 12 of the last 17 overall.  Minnesota has moved up the standings in the West division, but the Wild have problems against opponents with a winning record as Minnesota has lost five of the last 7 against a team with a record of .500 or better.

Prediction:
Vegas Golden Knights -150

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Full-Game Total Pick
Rating:

Minnesota and Vegas are two of the best teams when it comes to goals allowed, as Minnesota is allowing an average of only 2.44 goals per game and Vegas is allowing an average of only 2.06 goals per game. In the last 5 meetings between these two West division rivals, the total has finished under 4 times and one has ended in a push. The total has finished under in each of Vegas’ last seven games played.

Prediction:
UNDER 5.5